To help you foster a trusting relationship between you and your customers, we asked customer service managers, marketing professionals, and business leaders this question for their best insights. From staying consistent in your messaging to listening to customers’ specific needs, there are several ways to effectively engage with your customers to gain more of their trust.
People’s trust is based on promises that are delivered, and this is why it is important that businesses focus on maintaining a consistent brand message and experience to build that confidence. Brands that have disjointed messaging or do not meet expectations promoted in their marketing can quickly sow the seeds of distrust.
Being honest about your product and service capabilities, creating a seamless customer experience, and focusing on authenticity in your marketing efforts, can all build trust. In addition, being quick to address and resolve a negative experience can re-instill confidence in a customer that may otherwise jump ship. By being consistent in your messaging and following that with matching actions, you will have a greater likelihood of building and maintaining trust in your brand.
Greg Gillman, Chief Revenue Officer, MuteSix
The best way to build customer trust is to focus on developing healthy relationships with them. Strong relationships with customers boost sales, and profit and minimize customer attrition and are beneficial in invaluable marketing. In addition to this, when your business cultivates relationships with customers it also increases employee morale. For cultivating relationships with the customers, know them first. Recognize their issues, listen to them carefully and understand properly what you need to impress them to increase their trust in your brand.
Gerrid Smith, Chief Marketing Officer, Joy Organics
No one likes to receive negative feedback but you can establish trust quickly by appropriately and strategically responding to bad reviews. Entrepreneurs work very hard and take a great deal of pride in their businesses, so often their first reaction to a negative review is to ignore it or even worse, become defensive – and in doing so they miss a golden opportunity to establish credibility.
Listening to negative feedback with an open mind, making certain you fully understand the customer’s point of view, and offering to resolve the issue quickly and to the customer’s satisfaction, can engender trust by reinforcing the concept that you stand behind your products and services. In addition, by responding to negative reviews in the same manner, you can showcase your integrity in a public forum. By responding to negative feedback with empathy and an earnest effort to resolve the problem, you can turn a negative into a positive and build customer trust.
Cody Candee, Founder and CEO, Bounce
Part of the challenge in the digital age is that it lends to an impersonal atmosphere, and therefore having a “Meet Our Team” page on your website is a tactic that can go a long way in creating the connections necessary to build customer trust. Emails and automated messaging apps are efficient, but they lack a human element that often sacrifices connection for convenience. However, by creating a “Meet Our Team” page on your business website, in which you have pictures, behind-the-scenes photographs, direct emails, and even video introductions, you can put a face on your business. In simply having this human element on your website, you can create a connection to your business and more effectively build customer trust.
Matt Miller, Founder & CEO, Embroker
Great customer service is the key to building customer trust. If your customers feel that your company is prepared to remedy issues effectively, they will trust your company and be confident in making a purchase. If they have problems that aren’t resolved or can not get a hold of customer service, their trust will plummet, hurting your customer experience and brand. Take the time to have excellent customer service policies, including a training program, and you will build customer confidence in your brand.
Ann McFerran, CEO, Glamnetic
Reviews and testimonials are vital to building trust because they serve as “social proof for customers.” They are the word of mouth of the online world. Today, many consumers make purchases based on feedback they read online. Because of the high visibility of social proof, you want to do everything you can to provide the best customer service experience. Don’t be afraid to ask for a review afterward. Customer reviews and testimonials are highly valuable in establishing trust with customers.
Sumeer Kaur, Founder & CEO, Lashkaraa
Build a digital presence. It’s easy for customers to trust a business that they can search online and have contact information indicated on their business pages. Your organization’s social media pages don’t have to have thousands of likes or reviews – although good figures undeniably help build credibility. Just the fact that your organization is searchable online and customers can reach you via multiple contact channels, including phone, email, and online form, are standard for establishing trust. Your customers can’t just magically hand their trust over to your business. You need to work on it by being as transparent and visible as possible on the world wide web.
Jeffrey Zhou, Co-Founder and CEO, Fig Loans
Customer feedback is the most crucial aspect of building a customer relationship that is based on mutual trust, where you hope and trust the customer to provide feedback, and in return, the customer trusts you to act on the inputs that come your way. Only when you follow up your act of introducing improvement or correcting shortfalls will customers find the reason to place their trust in you. But once you gain this trust that is built on action rather than words, you know it is unshakeable.
Mary Jurgensen, Community Outreach Director, Gary and Mary West PACE
One simple tactic that can help you gain customers’ trust is to be transparent about your marketing practices. Let them know what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Customers appreciate honesty and openness and are more likely to do business with companies they feel they can trust. So, if you’re looking for a way to improve your customer relationships, try being more transparent in your marketing efforts. It’s a simple tactic that can make a big difference.
Tracey Beveridge, HR Director, Personnel Checks
It’s one thing to have written testimonials on your website that may or may not carry the face of the people that wrote them. It’s another thing entirely to have video testimonials. Whether we realize it or not, the majority of information we communicate when talking is nonverbal. The way you move your mouth, the things you do with your nose, body movements, eyebrow position, etc. all help to send a message. If there’s genuine excitement behind the testimonial, people watching will be able to pick up on it and it’ll leave a stronger impression than written testimonials.
Daniel Ndukwu, CMO/CoFounder, UsefulPDF
If you pressure a customer to purchase a product or double down on their commitment, it’s normal for them to put their guard up. They’ll question whether the product would really be helpful for them, or if you’re just looking to make a quick sale. Raised suspicions can quickly kill their interest, even if they were originally planning to buy.
When customers resist the buying of goods and services, this is known as the “zone of resistance.” To move customers out of that resistance zone, you need to remove all feelings of pressure. I call this “being the curator.” It means that rather than trying to force a sale, you focus solely on isolating the customer’s needs. Then, you can match them up with the most relevant products or services that you have to offer. Once the customer feels that you have an understanding of their goals, and that you’re genuinely looking to help them, they’ll stop resisting what you have to say. And with that, they’ll start to put their trust in you.
Andrew Gonzales, President, BusinessLoans.com
Be upfront about what your product can do… and what it can’t. Having a reputation for honesty in business is priceless. It doesn’t matter if it’s a big lie or a tiny one; if you’re caught misrepresenting what you sell, it’ll be to your detriment. Our company puts this tip into action each day by posting detailed testing results and information about our products. If you don’t oversell, it’ll help you in the long run.
Vimla Black Gupta, Co-Founder & CEO, Ourself
Leveraging genuine user-generated content is a great way to build trust with new customers. People are used to seeing influencers promoting a brand’s products on social media, but a lot of research shows many customers do not believe influencers use most of the products they promote as part of their daily routines. With UGC from real customers, everything feels much more genuine because the people talking about your products have purchased them organically without any incentive. Brands can easily collect UGC assets to use in all kinds of marketing campaigns. Many apps exist to make this process quick and easy for both the brand and the customer. These assets – especially short candid videos – can be used in a brand’s social media ad campaigns or even on product and services pages to increase trust and conversions with new customers.
Ryan Turner, Founder, EcommerceIntelligence.com
Don’t over-explain options or waste efforts solving problems the prospective buyer hasn’t raised. As a consumer, few things are more frustrating than time wasted and not feeling understood. By focusing interactions on intently listening, validating the buyer’s needs, asking clarifying questions, and appropriately responding in a timely manner, you’ll gain the trust and business of more clients.
Tommy Chang, VP, Head of Marketing, Homelister
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